I am a self-taught artist based in Norfolk, England. I have always been creative and liked to draw since a child but it wasn't until 2007 when I was at university writing a dissertation for my nursing degree that I started painting seriously.
Looking back it was a close call between studying nursing or fine Art. I wanted to pay back to others the kindness I had received when I was treated for thyroid cancer in 1998 so nursing it was. But I also needed a creative outlet which painting allowed me.
In 2008, I sold my first painting of sunflowers to a nurse I worked with on the wards at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital for £10.00 Since then, whilst continuing to work as a nurse in the local community I have discovered the delights (and unique challenges) of painting outside en plein air.
I still have to pinch myself, that 13 years on I am now an award-winning artist with a painting in HM Queen II collection. I have been chosen as a wild card to compete in the Sky TV programme, landscape Artist of the Year in four years in a row and been asked to complete book covers for two publishing houses.
I am lucky to be able to create everyday, painting the world around me, exploring my love of nature and celebrating its abundance which I hope comes across in my work.
Why I paint
I love painting anything and everything in nature especially trees. Being in nature lifts your mood, it gives focus and helps bring calm. There is evidence now that it also helps your health and a lot of scientific studies and research in going into this. I can well believe it. If you go for a walk by the ocean or in a forest, you know yourself, you feel instantly better.
To paint it, remembering how it felt to be there brings me endless joy and makes me feel alive. It is a constant source of inspiration. I love to walk the countryside around us and am in awe of the power of the elements and the abundance and diversity of nature. I want to celebrate that in my work.
My muse is a fickle yet demanding creature and constantly has my attention. This is endlessly annoying for my friends and family if we are out as I'm stopping to take photos every five minutes or drawing.
But sometimes weird things pique my curiosity. Man made things that are in nature, that were once out of place , but now part of the environment. Things that you look at every day but never really see. I'm completely smitten if it has age or a story behind. Don't even get me started on my love of rusty metal or rickety sheds swamped in Ivy and in Yorkshire a few years ago I was captivated by a set of road cones on the moors. Strange eh.
I've thought a lot about why. I think its to do with marking the passage of time and the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Of the world around us and our place in it.
I know with a nursing background how tragically fleeting the time we have can be. To the sun the moon and stars looking down, our lives must be like a puff of smoke.
In the time we are given I want to live in joy and wonder and exploring nature and the world around me through painting, allows me that.
I try and capture all of this in my art using the play of light to create atmosphere and emotion.
Often I try to hint at what lies just beneath the surface, what is hidden from plain sight or what has gone before.
The process is quite intuitive building layers and texture, creating depth to an artwork to try and communicate this. By layering paint and then washing away or scoring into the canvas to partially reveal the luminous under layers.
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